Mission: Combining art, history and significant architecture,
the Carnegie Art Center sponsors, promotes and encourages
the creation of art for all through exhibitions, classes and
performances; building the collaborations and community
essential to cultural vibrancy.
Mission: Combining art, history and significant architecture, the Carnegie Art Center sponsors, promotes and encourages the creation of art for all through exhibitions, classes and performances; building the collaborations and community essential to cultural vibrancy.
"I choose free libraries as the best agencies for improving the masses of the people, because they give nothing for nothing. They only help those who help themselves. They never pauperize. They reach the aspiring and open to these chief treasures of the world -- those stored up in books. A taste for reading drives out lower tastes."
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
Dates and final details will be listed at a later date.
Staff: Mary Simpson – Executive Director
Board Members: Barb Hughes, Jeanne Marie Jarka, Susan Jenson, Lisa Langer, Cindi O’Mara
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It opened on December 5, 1904 as the City of North Tonawanda’s first and only public library. It became the Carnegie Art Center, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit corporation in 1976.
Construction of the Classical Revival building, with red brick and Indiana buff stone trim, was funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1903. The building was designed by E.E. Joralemon, a Niagara Falls architect, who designed “Carnegie’ libraries in Niagara Falls and Elmira, NY and a number of schools throughout New York State. The building was designed to hold 18,000 books, with a large stained glass skylight providing light during the day and electric lights illuminating the reading room at night. When it ended its career as a library, it had 200,000 books.
Andrew Carnegie, an ambitious and successful 19th century entrepreneur, began his career as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory; the son of Scottish immigrants. In the 1870s, he founded the Carnegie Steel Company, and built the company into the most successful in the industry. When he sold his steelworks in 1901 to JP Morgan for $480 million, he became the wealthiest man in the world.
Believing that "the man, who dies rich dies disgraced," Carnegie devoted the rest of his life and most of his fortune to philanthropy, education and international peace. He is called the patron saint of libraries, building 1,679 in the United States between 1885 and 1919, and 830 in other countries. Two hundred seventy-seven are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hundreds have been demolished.